Have you heard? Yew Restaurant + Bar has set up a pop-up shop at Holt Renfrew for a month. Running til April 12, Yew at Holts carries sandwiches, salads and desserts for you to pick up on-the-go. The other day, my coworker TC and I stopped by and picked up a few things to bring back to the office.
The menu is pretty straightforward, 3 sandwiches, 3 salads and 5 desserts. Sandwiches and salads are $10 each, desserts are $4 each, taxes are already included.
After perusing the menu board and food display, we decided to share one sandwich, a salad and a dessert. The Quinoa + Kale Salad was pretty good. It has a generous portion of golden qunioa (at least an inch thick of quinoa at the bottom) combined with kale, bell peppers, firm tofu and edamame. The citrus vinaigrette reminds me of lemon curd but oil based; it’s light and refreshing, with a hint of sweetness. This salad is quite filling but it’s healthy and high in fibre.
We picked the Yew Tuna Sandwich because it’s made of Yew’s own branded canned tuna. To be honest, it’s like any canned tuna I’ve had. The tuna salad filling was decent, but there’s nothing really special about it. These sandwiches are all pre-made; therefore, the bun got a little soggy after absorbing the moisture from the tuna salad and the lettuce and tomato. It became a bit messy to eat as the sandwich started falling apart.
Lastly, the dessert. The cashier said Lemon & Raspberry is her favourite dessert and that’s what we went for. Essentially, it’s lemon curd with fresh raspberries. There’s a thin layer of sponge cake at the bottom, and it’s topped with a raspberry macaron and white chocolate. The lemon curd was tart but not to the level of giving you a sour-lemon face; it pairs very well with the fresh raspberries on top. The macaron was so-so; it tasted rather artificial and I’ve definitely had better raspberry macaron elsewhere. Overall, this is a light dessert perfect for the weekday afternoon. And rather reasonably priced at $4. I quite enjoyed it.
I think it’s a good idea for a high-end restaurant like Yew to set up a pop-up store to sell affordable to-go lunches. At $12 per person for TC and me I thought there was a good amount of food that filled us up without feeling stuffed. That being said, after trying the food I found this to be more gimmicky than anything. I’ve had better sandwiches and salads elsewhere that cost about the same if not slightly cheaper. It’s disappointing because I have enjoyed my past visits at Yew; they always put out great quality of food at the restaurant.
Also, the fact that the price has already included taxes, the price before-tax has actually gone up after April 1. It’s still $24 in total even though it’s only 5% GST vs. 12% HST. As a customer, I’m not sure if I appreciate it.
Yew at Holts
3rd floor, Holt Renfrew
737 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver